On June 22, 2017, US space agency NASA launched the world’s smallest and lightest satellite built by students from Tamil Nadu. That is the first time that an Indian student’s experiment carried out by NASA.
The experimental satellite was designed by a team led by 18 year old Md. Rifath Shaarook of Pallapatti. The weight of the probe was just 64 grams and it was fitted in a 3.8 centimetre cube.
It took more than two-years for Rifath and his team to design the experimental satellite
using the 3-D printing technology at a cost of just ₹1 lakh. It was for the first time that 3-D printing technology used in space.
The experimental satellite would capture and record temperature, radiation level, rotation buckling, magnetosphere and others before landing in the ocean.
The satellite was named after former President and nuclear scientist Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and called KalamSat.
This launch was carried out under the supervision of the founder and CEO of Space Kids India, Dr Srimathy Kesan.
The satellite, which was lighter than a smartphone and made of reinforced carbon fibre polymer, operated for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space after its flight.
After carrying out its flight, KalamSat fell into the sea,
later recovered by NASA and sent back to the team for retrieving the collected data.